A Meandering Sunday Post

Enjoying a Jack Daniels & water on this lazy Sunday before my classes begin.

I’m watching a Monkees episode with Rip Taylor as a guest star, so all is well.

It’s got what had to be Jeffrey Epstein’s favorite Monkees song “Cuddly Toy” featured, as well as “The Door Into Summer,” a tune co-penned by Nesmith’s bud Bill Martin. I was apartment neighbors with Martin for a while some years back. Nice guy.

And for MORE small world coincidence, I was also neighbors with Martin’s screenwriting partner for a few years before that. Another nice guy.

But not Rip Taylor. I never got to be his neighbor. I wonder if he’d throw his toupeĆ© over my fence.

Now they’ve switched over to the Fairy Tale episode, one of the weirder and more clever ones, actually. Complete with “Daily Nightly” just to run the table on making it a 1967 time capsule.

I’ll savor my drink, do the crossword, and make dinner. Back to work tomorrow. Oy.

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Random Baseball Card Of The Day: Topps 1972 Rich Reese

Back before the times of ubiquitous digital photos and wall-to-wall television coverage of every game, the majority of the photos on baseball cards came from posed sessions with Topps usually done during spring training or even the previous season. Older cards have players in obvious staged poses faking a pitching windup or fielding stance or whatever.

I like this one of Rich Reese and his gigantic Freudian bat.

Is he trying to bash the photographer’s head in? Was he psychically predicting a light saber battle pose five years early? Was he doing his impression of Al Capone? Or is he merely illustrating a phallocentric interpretation of baseball’s emphasis on male virility via a cross-cultural archetype of traditional masculine power within the extradiogetical space? Well, that last part is what it says on the back of the card, right after how much he enjoys hunting & fishing during the off-season and before his stats. But I’m still leaning towards the light saber theory.

No big surprise that Reese would rather pose with a bat than a glove – he spent a bunch of years, mostly with some decent Twins teams, as a backup infielder and premier pinch-hitter. He’s still tied for the all-time pinch hit grand slam record with 3.

He did better after he left baseball. He went to work in sales in the liquor industry, first for the old Hamm brewery (long since bought out by Miller/Coors) and eventually became CEO of Jim Beam brands before retiring some years ago.

I’d like to think he swang that bat against his competitors in the booze biz the same way Al Capone did.

And now I’m thinking about having a bourbon. Thanks Rich!

Friday Art: The Spice Shop by Paolo Antonio Barbieri (1637)

Barbieri was a Bologense painter of still lifes and animals, mostly. His more famous older brother Guercino got the big Papal invite to play the big-time at Rome. Paolo helped him out on some material, but also produced some nice work of his own, most notably this one.

I like how all the containers of raw spices look like gumball machines. The kid grinding out the mix with the mortar & pestle has a lot to choose from.

I’m thinking about what kind of spice rub to give my steak tonight, in case you’re wondering why this painting is today’s subject. Even though the prices are relatively cheaper now than in 1637, not much else has changed about spices. They’re still better freshly ground and kept whole. And I even have a small mortar and pestle to do it with.

I guess now all I need is that kid’s outfit. The hat is really me.

A Post For The Last Day Of Summer Vacation

“Despair” (1892) by that ray-o-sunshine Edward Munch.

My summer is over. As usual, I got some stuff done but not as much as I wanted. I goofed off some, but NEVER as much as I want to.

Watched a lot of old movies, a lot of Yankees baseball, read a lot of books too.

In some ways, I don’t mind switching routines back to the work routine, but I’d still rather it be June. June always feels like I have endless time in front of me to do all sorts of things, to explore all sorts of possibilities, to switch gears whenever I want. Thinking about June is the smaller version of thinking about my 20s, I guess.

June, my 20s… all of it’s gone. Over. Done. Can’t get it back. So, it’s time for Munch’s faceless bummed out guy on what looks like the identical bridge locale from “The Scream.” He’s got a nice hat, at least.

And at least there’s a next June, I guess.

Don’t ask. I just need some pasta & wine, pronto.

And no, the myth this painting is based on has nothing to do with my life. Let’s not get too excited.

My Natural Musky Manliness

So I’m at the grocery store just now, at the checkout counter. The kid loads everything into the bag, I’m getting my receipt and am ready to go.

Then the kid says “Hey, I like your cologne.”

I’m not wearing cologne. I don’t think I’ve ever worn cologne in my life, actually. Wasn’t sure I heard him right.

“Huh?” I say.

“I like your cologne,” the kid repeats.

“I’m not wearing cologne,” I say.

“Oh?” He says, surprised.

“I guess I just smell good,” I say.

I thought of this:

Although, maybe it wasn’t my hair. Maybe it was the groceries I bought. In which case, it’s time for Cris Shapan:

Friday Art: A Hare In The Forest by Hans Hoffmann (1585)

I see bunny rabbits every morning when I take my walk so it looks like nothing has changed for five hundred years as far as walks in the woods go. Bunnies are still just as cute as they ever were, still just as wary and easily terrified.

16th century Hans Hoffmann is not to be confused with the 20th century abstract expressionist artist Hans Hoffmann (unless it’s actually the same guy and he’s a vampire… someone ought to look into that). The 16th century Hoffman was an acolyte of Albrecht Durer, and copied a lot of Durer’s work as well as Durer’s style. Hoffman’s hare, above, certainly evokes the amazing illustration of a hare that Durer did earlier in 1502:

Durer gets more reality in the fur (it’s like he painted every follicle separately) and a little more individual character in the face… but I like the way Hoffman sets his more cuddly-lookin’ hare in a wonderfully detailed forest background. Like any of the “Durer Renaissance” school (or Northern European art in general) the attention to small detail is amazing. The leaves, flowers, trees… all of it looks somewhat realistic, yet somehow Hoffmann stylizes them in a way that harkens back to simpler medieval art. It almost looks like a tapestry. There’s almost a slightly cartoon-y quality to those Dandelion-esque greens and other surroundings. Maybe it’s the colors being a bit too bright and unnatural, but it works.

Bunnies are cute and harmless… or are they? I understand that if they’re insulted by a mere 2 cent bounty, they fly off the handle and cut Florida loose among other things…

South America, take it away!

New Baseball Cards For My Collection

Let’s have some fun with Topps’ Customized Baseball cards, shall we?

That’s right, you can upload any photo, set it within a few choices of Topps classic baseball card designs, and have them custom printed.

OR, if you’re a troll moron like me, you can have fun just taking some screenshots of imagined cards for FREE! So I think I’d like a 1986 Ro-Man. I think he’ll make all the difference for the Dodgers this year when he cranks up that bubble machine and kills everyone on Earth except for a small group of morons near Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles.

Unless, of course, he’s stopped by my 1973 Big Jim Slade

Yeah, yeah, I know… Big Jim really played for the Kansas City Chiefs (and the capital of Nebraska is LINCOLN!), but only baseball card designs were available.

Continue reading “New Baseball Cards For My Collection”

Friday Art: Cats by Franz Marc (1910) + A Pair of Peter Cushing Films

Marc is considered a German Expressionist, although this work, with its super-bright colorful thick swirly brushstrokes, suggests a lot of Van Gogh and general post-impressionist influence.

Marc loved painting animals with a wild color palette. Most of his works depict animals and wildlife. He got drafted into the German army in World War 1 and put into the infantry. By the middle of the war, Germany realized artists were valuable and started transferring notable ones out of the army. But before the orders reached him, Marc was killed at the Battle of Verdun, along with lots and lots of other people.

It’s best to think more about the kitties, isn’t it?

I visited a local pet supply store today just to pet the black cat who lives there. Turns out he’s got a case of the fleas, since one of the tiny little bastards bit me on the hand. If I die from bubonic plague, let it be known that I went out the way I wanted to – petting some lazy ass cat.

I’d like to think Marc went out the same way. It’s the romantic in me.

And yes, more cat pictures and stories. I can’t help myself. I’m fascinated, hypnotized and soulfully owned by the furry little bastards, I admit it. I’ll even watch stupid movies if they’re centered around cats, like my review of “Eye of The Cat” a while back. This time, cats led me to a Peter Cushing film which was not that good, and then another Peter Cushing film that was out and out excellent.

Continue reading “Friday Art: Cats by Franz Marc (1910) + A Pair of Peter Cushing Films”

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